As car manufacturers and consumers search long and hard to find new ways to increase mileage and decrease harmful emissions, Frank Will has invented a system that does both significantly and could completely change the automobile landscape.
Will's engine modification system called OVER7 increases fuel economy by over 7 percent, while decreasing emissions by 30 percent and engine wear by 96 percent. Pretty incredible. The trick is getting the industry on board.
Will, who previously worked as an engineer at Ford in Australia tells Business Insider that he started his project after becoming frustrated at the failures of others, "they couldn't find any improvements [of fuel economy] by more than half a percent and I couldn't really understand that."
OVER7 works by increasing the heat of the oil used in the engine, up from about 200°F to between 250° and 300° in an engine utilizing OVER7, which allows the oil to flow easier. This means that the engine works less hard and uses less gas, allowing for greater fuel economy.
Perhaps the most interesting part of this project is its circular nature. Will explains that only 20 percent of fuel is actually used by a car, while the other 80 percent is wasted as heat. OVER7 redirects the heat energy that would normally be disposed as emissions from the tailpipe and uses it to heat up the oil, which in turn decreases the amount of fuel required.
Moreover, all of OVER7's parts are already in mass production, underlying the relatively simple and efficient nature of the invention. OVER7 is so simple and saves so much that once installed in a car it pays for itself in less than a month.
Will, a senior lecturer at Australia's Deakin University, is currently working with a major car manufacturer to test out the system and hopes to see OVER7 on the road in three to five years. Anything that reduces emissions is particularly attractive to car manufacturers in Europe where a carbon dioxide tax is being introduced in 2015 that will increase emission restrictions.
But not everyone has been receptive of the invention. Will says some car manufacturers and oil companies are reluctant to support a product that could cut into their own business.
While testing continues, Will hopes to work on a cheap kit that would allow the environmental savvy and cost conscious alike to install OVER7 on their cars at home, making the system's benefits available to everyone.
OVER7 has garnered quite a lot of awards and commendations already including one of Popular Science's 2012 Invention Awards and the Gold Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers Australasia. Despite the attention, Will is focused on the simple and significant benefits that his technology will lead to and says that "the ultimate goal in all of it is to help consumers reduce their fuel bill and to reduce the emissions of their cars."